I heaved the huge pan from the stove top and carried it to the tub. "Foreign frontier mission-preparation," I thought to myself with a grin, scooping up water from the basin to wash my hair. Our furnace strangely stopped working the day before, and we hadn't had hot water since. "I'm so glad that my parent's trip to China was delayed after all," I thought. What would Amy and I have done when we no longer had hot water or heat? I would have had enough trouble calling the plumber, much less identifying the real problem.
It was late August when my parents received an email with the dates for their departure to China. We were all very eager to get our new brother Jonathan, and with growing excitement my parents shopped, packed, and received advice from other adoptive parents that had made the long plane trip to China and back. But then - we faced bitter disappointment. The consulate in China put us off, and instead of my parents leaving in 5 days, they were leaving at some unknown point in the future - possibly a month from then. "Why?" we wondered, "how could this be? Is this God's leading or the result of life's necessary trials?" I was comforted that the Lord indeed had a plan, and that this was just one piece of the puzzle, even though it didn't make sense.
It was days after our family's disappointment when we faced a new, emerging problem: our Quarter Horse Molly. Twice she spooked for no apparent reason as my mother and cousin rode her, and even though the mare had great ground manners, she acted resistant when ridden. I was surprised to find that she was no longer the slow poke lesson horse that I had known before - now she was sensitive, touchy, and irritable. We invited a trainer to come and try Molly out, and I was shocked to watch the horse buck, rear, and jerk her head as the trainer gently worked with her. We hadn't finished paying for the Quarter Horse, and it was providential that we found out before October when we would have to pay the rest. Was this yet another reason why my parents' trip to China was postponed?
And last but not least, a suicidal, drug addicted individual at large, is in the area running from the police. This by no means makes us feel secure, and is yet another reason why my parents are thankful that their travel date for China was delayed.
Molly was returned to her owner, the furnace was fixed, and we don't know about the criminal but we feel safe with our parents here.
God had a plan, and we trusted Him even though we did not understand. My parents are preparing again for their departure, and with the crisp breezes rippling the trees which are now turning faint colors of yellow, red, and orange, so comes the winds of change as well. Another fall has come to New England, and with it I have learned many valuable lessons. Maybe one of the most challenging to learn, is complete trust in the total unknown. It is encouraging to see how God works everything out for the good, even though it was unfortunate that my family's trip was delayed. But I am determined to trust ultimately in my Heavenly Father, even though I won't always understand. I can have faith that He holds all the pieces to the big puzzle.
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28